The season was barely a month old when wide receiver Alton “Pig” Howard was dismissed by Tennessee coach Butch Jones in October. That left three months to let Jones’ decision settle in.
“I don’t want to even get into it because it’s behind me,” Howard said when asked about the dismissal following his workout for Tennessee’s pro day on Wednesday. “I’ve moved on from it.”
Howard declined to specify why he was dismissed. He only wanted to talk about his performance in front of dozens of scouts from approximately 26 NFL teams.
“I feel like I did pretty good overall in the drills,” Howard said. “I didn’t have any drops. I feel like I could have run a better 40.”
Howard clocked a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash and a 32.5-inch vertical jump. Those numbers probably won’t wow NFL scouts, but Howard’s quickness may get him a shot in the NFL or perhaps the CFL. After his forced sabbatical, he is just looking for a chance.
“It’s just been a grind, motivation,” he said. “I have passion for the game. I just put a chip on my shoulder and I just grinded every single day.”
Howard’s ability hasn’t been the topic most scouts have been curious about. He said he’s fielded several questions from NFL executives about his off-field issues.
“It was a mistake, something I’ll move on from,” he said. “I’m just focused on being a better person.”
Howard said he never ventured too far from football during his dismissal, even if that meant watching his former team on television.
“Every game,” Howard said when asked if he watched the Vols after he was kicked off of the team. “If not Tennessee, another game. I love to watch sports. At the end of the day, it can eat you up inside but you know it just motivated me to go out there and do my best.”